Monday, September 26, 2005


"The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations."
-Adam Smith


Sangroncito said...

Yikes! As much as I love your blog I have to take exception with this post...
As much as I want, sometimes, to "blame" the poor for their own plight, I it the poverty of their aspirations, or the poverty of the aspirations of the government and society that oppresses them?

1:52 PM  
elocin x said...

depends on where you are... most of the poor people i have met do not live under an oppressive government, but instead under the oppressive word "can't" or simply the apathy in their own heads. i am lucky to come from an american perspective- i was poor once and i took my life by the balls and changed that, as we are taught to do. in less optimistic surroundings i find that people don't even bother to try. they were born poor and expect to stay that way.

these days i feel like if you are poor you are either stupid (lack of education or brain power), lazy (lack of ambition), or unlucky (lack of support or physical impairment, accidents, layoffs, etc.) i am of course not immune to at least the last one, but that one can't be helped even with abundant optimism....

but then i still have a lot to learn. ;)

4:46 PM  
Sangroncito said...

Yes, I do see your point.
As Americans we are bombarded from day one that anything is may be partly myth, but that's how Americans look at the world...and I do understand the frustration of being in third world countries where people are passive, apathetic or lack motivation because sometimes one wants to grab them by the shoulders, shake them, and scream "think of all the possibilities!!!" (ie. education, opening a small business, saving money instead of buying beer, or whatever small step that can change a life).

1:24 AM  
JamieT said...

I think it is a combo of the two factors - environmental encouragement as well as infrastructure provided by society. Thais only have access to free education through grade eight. That is a problem. Having such a vast population with a lack of education and therefore an underdeveloped sense of what could be accomplished tends to breed the type of apathy you describe.

Love your blog btw. Keep it up!

8:57 AM  
elocin x said...

true about education for thais, though there are ways to do it cheaply. 'o' is currently studying for his degree through a correspondence course with a prominent university in bkk- he has some of his classes on tv, others via mail. it costs only $60-75/semester. i get so frustrated with him and his family and friends who think the only way to move up is to latch onto a farang. if any of them would write down their ideas and work towards them they would be fine, but they all prefer to lay in front of tv all day. it has to to with the hierarchy in thai society as well, they feel they have a place and they have to stay in it. but my point is they don't even try to make their lives different, they just sit around and bitch about it. i do know a few thais who managed to be successful on their own, but they are definitely in the minority.

10:54 AM  

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